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OM is a relatively new high-end Indian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. Via a Living Social deal last week, I scored a $50 gift certificate for food and drink for $25. We headed down for a nice dinner before an evening at the theater on Saturday night.

I was struck upon entering at how fancy the place is. It's a 2-level restaurant, much like Chino Latino in Uptown: you enter at ground level and most of the dining area is located downstairs. Upon being seated, we were presented with their complementary amuse bouche: multi-colored rice puffs served with a yogurt and cucumber dipping sauce. It was whimsical but not particularly impressive--like being served fluffy fruity pebbles at a fine dining establishment--it just didn't fit well. But once we moved on to the food off the menu, we quickly ran out of complaints.

We started with a bowl of the Cardamom thai chile soup ($6): Slow stewed red bell peppers pureed with cashews, green cardamom, and chiles topped with yogurt and shredded paneer. It came looking like your standard tomato bisque in both consistency and color, but the flavor was straight out of Bangkok. We sopped it up with an order of the Green chile and potato naan bread ($4), which was thick, doughy, and thoroughly delicious.

For our entrees, my date went with the Black peppercorn chicken ($19): Tender all-natural chicken breast marinated in roasted yellow split peas and garlic served in a spinach-black peppercorn sauce, with a side of wild mushroom basmati rice.

And I opted for the Konkan wild salmon ($24): A dish reflective of tastes from the southwestern Konkan coast: wild Alaskan salmon seared with turmeric and poached in a coconut milk-malt vinegar sauce with red chiles, cinnamon, garlic, scallions, and grape tomatoes, served with wild mushroom basmati rice

And we got a side of the Two smashed potatoes ($7): mashed yukon gold and sweet potatoes

Every bite was divine. The wild mushroom basmati rice was sweet, but neutral enough to sop up the flavors of the respective dishes with which it was served. My salmon was melt-on-your-tongue tender, and the sauce gave each bite enough layers of velvety flavor to make Willy Wonka's wallpaper jealous. The potatoes were creamy and vibrant with Indian spices, and my date's chicken had him in rapture.

We were definitely members of the Clean Plate Club that night.

And I haven't even mentioned the cocktails! I got the OM-ijto, their take on the mojito. It was your standard mojito, but in a very generous portion. Mojitos are usually half this size for the same price. My date got their version of a margarita, which was served in a martini glass, straight up. Both were scrumptious:

We finished dinner off with a french press coffee for him and a double espresso with a twist of lemon for me.

When the bill came, we were surprised to see that we had managed to spend another $45 on top of the $50 worth of food and drink I had already paid for via the Living Social deal. All in all, the total bill was $101. Not a cheap evening out, by any means, but the food is worth it. If you're in the mood for a splurge on some delicious, up-scale ethnic food and want a sure-fire way to rock your taste buds from here to Mumbai, give OM a try.


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